The Sixties at 40: Leaders and Activists Remember and Look Forward

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Overview

Millions of people were involved in or influenced by the protest and social change movements of the 1960s. Today, they are moms, dads, even grandparents. They are teachers, architects, artists, entrepreneurs. Having intimations of mortality, they are searching for their identities—what formed them, and why they have become who they are.

Based on recent interviews, this unique sixties book brings together the voices of the Left leaders who spawned the sixties movements. Many remain activists today, and experience and the passage of time allow them to transcend nostalgia to form more realistic perspectives on past, present, and future. They discuss the civil rights and antiwar movements, the political outcome of the sixties, patriotism, terror, and the role of young people in the future. Important gains were made during the sixties, but there were many setbacks, too, that influence today’s voters, leaders, candidates, and our day-to-day realities. The sixties of this book are not simply a sweet memory of marijuana and album rock; there were many casualties, including innocence and youthful idealism.

Agger concludes with reflections on the possibilities of a next Left, which was already faintly visible in young people’s massive support of Obama’s presidential candidacy.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Here are two useful and very different books offering insights on the storied decade of the 1960s. Agger (sociology, Univ. of Texas, Arlington) grew up in Eugene, OR , in the 1960s with a father who was a mentor to local civil rights activists. The family moved to Canada in 1969 for 12 years. Agger's personal story serves mainly to introduce and link themes; since 2004, he has interviewed 14 leaders from the era (both famous names like Tom Hayden and Mark Rudd and local leaders) and spreads their views richly throughout the book. Agger aims to "teach the Sixties" to the current generation—the children of the children of the Sixties—with an emphasis on politics rather than culture and counterculture, though sociocultural aspects seep into many of the interviews. A narrative time line provides a valuable overview of people and events. "Who won the Sixties?" is an underlying theme, and Agger and his interviewees argue whether the ultimate legacy of the Sixties was in fact the disappearance of the Left and a victory for conservatism. They also discuss the role of women in the patriarchal political movements of the time. Ultimately, this is an invigorating and hopeful book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594516924
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ben Agger is Professor of Sociology and Humanities at the University of Texas, Arlington, and Director of the Center for Theory. Renowned as a critical theorist, his latest book is entitled Texting Toward Utopia: Kids, Writing, and Resistance (Paradigm 2013).
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements

Chapter 1 Time It Was: Telling the Sixties Politically

Chapter 2 Timeline of the Sixties (Which Began Earlier)

Chapter 3 Port Huron and the New Left

Chapter 4 Bringing the War Home: Weatherman and Radical Dissent

Chapter 5 Love of Country

Chapter 6 Who Won the Sixties?

Chapter 7 Black Before White: From Civil Rights to Black and Brown Power and the Women’s Movement

Chapter 8 We Were Young Once: Our Children and the Next Left

Chapter 9 My Sixties at Fiftysomething

References
Index
About the Author

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